Consulting Services Use in Healthcare and Technology
To understand how consulting services are used in healthcare and technology to inform a potential expansion of consulting services into these sectors.
- The U.S. spends over $3 trillion, nearly 18% of GDP, on healthcare annually.
- In healthcare, technology, and businesses in general, consultants provide services that fall into two broad categories: internal (within the client), and market-facing.
- Internally, consultants help clients upgrade, modernize, and improve their organizations. Internal projects consultants assist with include business process improvement, organizational realignments, and digital transformations.
- For market-facing projects, consultants assist clients with the interface between the business and the markets it serves. Market-facing assistance provided by consultants includes pricing and marketing strategy, providing advice on product and services strategy, mergers and acquisitions, competitive intelligence, and licensing and partnership opportunities.
- In healthcare, the services provided differ somewhat from those provided for other types of businesses. Healthcare-specific projects consultants help with include identifying market risks, forecasting uptake and revenues, guiding how therapies are prioritized for development, and segmenting patients and physicians.
- In the US, demand for healthcare consultants increased annually from 2014-2019 due to factors including "technological advances in healthcare-related industries", the 2010 Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (PPACA), which expanded healthcare access to millions of Americans, and the changing regulatory environment.
- In the healthcare space, consultants are "management analysts" who examine and offer advice on how to improve the structure of the organization (hospital, doctor's office, any related business), its efficiency, and its profits.
- Healthcare consultants are typically hired on a part-time or contract basis, although larger healthcare organizations may hire a full-time consultant.
- Specific services provided in the healthcare consultants' space include financial management and operations, strategic management, human resources and benefits, IT strategy and other. Of these services, financial consulting, is the largest and it, subsequently, holds the largest market share among all healthcare consulting services.
- According to IBISWorld, the following companies are major players in the healthcare consulting space: Deloitte Touche, Huron Consulting Group Inc. Accenture PLC, Tohmatsu LLC, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and United Healthcare.
- Although the terms used to name them are often used interchangeably, technology consulting and IT consulting are not the same things. IT consulting is "integration consulting." IT consultants provide highly technical services such as building and evaluating systems. Technology consultants provide operational services. They map a current process and examine it to figure out what is wrong with it. Then, they break the current process, determine what a new process should be, and help implement it.
- Consultants in the technology space most often provide IT Consulting. At a high level, IT consultants provide guidance to their customers on a variety of IT issues ranging from overall IT strategy, including what to store in the data center as opposed to in the cloud, and what types of technology and functionality are needed to achieve success within the context of the customer’s IT and business environments and goals. Topics included in this area include process automation and mobile security.
- Technology consultants provide services in a range of areas including computer systems development, technical support and consulting, custom services, and IT infrastructure.
- Companies in the IT/technology consulting space include Accenture, Cognizant, Capgemini, McKinsey, and Deloitte.
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